Most of us want a job that not only makes us happy, but also pays well and has a healthy work-life balance. It never hurts to have a job with anticipated employment growth or opportunities for advancement, whether you’re looking for an exciting career change or trying to decide which career is best for you. Jobs like these are out there, and — with the right preparation and educational experience — you can enjoy a fulfilling career.
Whether you’re an adult seeking a career change or a student deciding which degree path would be best, the thought of taking such a leap will understandably leave you feeling overwhelmed and even frightened. Here’s a closer look at some of the top jobs in demand and why they might be the right career for you.
According to US News, one of the year’s most in-demand jobs is a dental hygienist. Median salary for a dental hygienist is $71,110, and the unemployment rate is only 1.7 percent. There are just over 64,000 expected job openings for dental hygienists — a promising number for those who want to quickly get to work.
The primary duties of a dental hygienist involve cleaning the patient’s teeth and providing advice on the best flossing and brushing practices. This position requires excellent technical and communication skills. Other important characteristics are good critical-thinking skills and hand-eye coordination. Most dental hygienists work closely with dentists in private or group dental practices.
Human Resources Manager
According to Glassdoor, the number of expected job openings for a human resources manager in 2015 is 8,073. The average base salary is $96,443 and there are numerous opportunities for career advancement and expansion making it one of the best jobs in business.
Human resources managers are heavily involved with planning, directing, and coordinating the company’s administrative functions. When working as a human resources manager, you can expect to administer employee services and oversee a company’s recruitment, interview, and hiring process. You may be asked to help find ways to best match each employee’s talents within the company workforce.
There will probably be some oversight involved in the human resources manager’s decisions. Most human resources managers are fundamental in providing valuable assessments of each worker’s skills and experience levels to keep the company running smoothly and to ensure that each employee is positively contributing to the company.
The manager’s scope of practice may expand more in smaller organizations, where he or she has direct involvement in compliance with any laws and regulations that affect employees, along with potential health or safety issues. In larger companies or firms, the human resources manager may specialize in a single area, such as resources allocation, hiring, or compensation.
You can complete the human resources associate degree at Vista College in 90 weeks and since an HR manager is one of the most in demand jobs, you can be confident to start your career right away.
Medical Laboratory Technician
Forbes lists medical laboratory technician as one of the best healthcare jobs in 2015. The median salary for the position is $34,160, and the projected growth in the field is 22 percent by 2022. If you’re looking for job security and growth opportunities, this is a great career choice.
When working as a medical lab technician, your primary responsibilities typically involve testing tissues, blood, and various body fluids to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Most medical lab technicians work in doctor’s offices, diagnostic laboratories, or hospitals.
Not surprisingly, this work plays a crucial role in helping physicians make a concrete diagnosis and determining the best treatment options. While some medical lab technicians are involved in a broader spectrum of work, others choose to specialize. If you’re interested in specialty work as a medical lab technician, you might focus on immunology, microbiology, hematology, molecular biology, or blood banking.
In most cases, you’ll need a certificate or associate degree from an accredited school for this career. Most programs cover a range of topics, from human anatomy and physiology to applied immunology, microbiology, and medical laboratory techniques. It’s possible to advance to a higher-level position, such as a medical lab technologist, with additional training and experience.
Vista College offers a Medical Lab Technician Associate of Applied Science program that can be successfully completed in as little as 18 months. Students in this program are trained in crucial areas such as serology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. In addition to a heavy emphasis on lab training, you’ll get a generous amount of hands-on experience. Many students participate in an externship to gain even more practical experience.
If you’re looking for jobs in high demand in 2015, database administrator is a top choice. According to Glassdoor, there will be around 9,790 job openings this year alone. The average base salary for a database administrator is a comfortable $97,835. This job generally has a good work-life balance, making it an appealing choice for the computer-oriented student or adults seeking a career change.
Database administration is a branch of IT that involves setting up company databases to reflect the organization’s needs. The individual is also responsible for making sure that the system continues to operate efficiently once it’s set up. You’ll have plenty of other responsibilities as well, including upgrading and testing database modifications and changes as needed, as well as giving the existing database tweaks from time to time.
It’s important to have excellent attention to detail as a database administrator, as the job often involves successfully resolving complex issues. You’ll likely work with a team of computer programmers and managers, which is why it helps to have great communication skills. Some database administrators work in public and private sectors, while others hold consulting positions with various organizations.
The Information Technology Associate of Applied Science program provides students interested in a computer-related career with the necessary technical skills and confidence for the road ahead. Consider the program an essential stepping-stone in the right direction, whether your goal is to find work as a database administrator or secure a similar role.
Throughout the course — which often runs just short of 24 months — you’ll learn how to provide technical support, set up and properly manage a computer network, design directory services infrastructures, and troubleshoot and repair computers both in and out of network. The program features expert instructors with plenty of real-life experience. These instructors are also on top of the latest trends and developments in the IT world and will share the latest demands of IT infrastructure.
According to businessinsider.com, registered nurses take home a median annual pay of $67,620. The anticipated job growth from 2010 to 2014 was at least five percent, and the field will likely experience a positive upward trend in years to come. The current gap between postings and hires is 19,118.
As a registered nurse, you’ll primarily work to assess, plan, and intervene when necessary to promote health or prevent disease. Registered nurses also assist patients in managing and coping with various illnesses. As far as direct patient care is concerned, a registered nurse observes, assesses, and records symptoms.
The typical schedules for registered nurses often vary depending on their work environment. For example, RNs in hospitals and nursing care facilities frequently tend to patients who require care at all hours of the day and/or night. Rotating shifts are common in such settings, as this enables the nurse to work 24 hours at a time. Nurses in these environments may work on holidays and weekends as well as nights. It’s not uncommon for them to be on call. RNs seeking more traditional business hours can find routine daytime work hours in settings such as offices and schools.
While some RNs prefer a general line of work, others will want to work with specific patient groups. Some examples of jobs you may hold as a specialized nurse include addiction, genetics, critical care, cardiovascular, neonatology, and rehabilitation nurses. Other career options for nurses may include working as researchers, hospital administrators, healthcare consultants, nurse educators, and public policy advisors. Some RNs work to promote general health through blood drives, immunization clinics, health screenings, or other outreach programs.
Computer Systems Analyst
US News labels computer systems analyst as one of the best careers for 2015. It’s easy to see why, with a median salary of $81,190 and a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. There are roughly 127,700 expected job openings for computer systems analysts in 2015 alone.
As a computer systems analyst, your primary responsibilities generally involve assisting your organization with its computer system, a task that often means determining the most-efficient ways to use computer technology. Most computer analysts also perform an in-depth cost-benefit analysis to figure out whether it’s a sound financial idea to invest in newer technology or significantly upgrade the organization’s current system.
You’ll have a number of other duties as a computer systems analysts, most of which are determined by your skills and background, along with the size and type of organization you’re working with. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some essential computer systems analyst tasks include: researching upcoming technologies to determine whether they can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness, training the system’s users, writing instruction manuals, discussing the role of the company’s IT system with its managers, and determining how to increase an existing computer system’s functionality.
It’s easy to get a head start on your career as a computer systems analyst with the technology opportunities offered through Vista College, including the Information Technology Diploma and the Information Technology Associate of Applied Science program.
The IT Diploma program typically lasts less than a year and involves plenty of hands-on training to prepare you for real-world experience as an IT professional. After graduating from the Diploma program, you may work in technical support, systems and network administration, or computer repair. It’s also possible to combine the Diploma with previous certifications.
Business Development Manager
Business development manager is one of the best jobs in business for 2015, according to Glassdoor. The projected number of job openings in the upcoming year is just over 11,000, and there is ample room for career advancement. The average base salary for a business development manager is $94,907.
As a business development manager, you’ll largely be responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating programs with the goal of enhancing the knowledge and skills of your organization’s employees. Another large part of a development manager’s job is to oversee the company’s training and development specialists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, development managers routinely design training programs to most adequately use available resources. They also organize training programs — a process that often involves creating or selecting course material and content — and evaluate the overall effectiveness of instructors and training programs.
The Business Management Associate of Applied Science is just one of many programs offered by Vista College for finding the best jobs in business. As jobs requiring at least an associate degree continue gaining popularity, you’ll find yourself a step ahead of most competitors after completing this program.
Aside from providing access to expert instructors, the program also ensures you will graduate ready to successfully compete for an entry-level management position, devise strategies for smaller and larger organizations, and continue to climb the ladder with your exceptional organizational and management skills.
Whether you choose to seek a technology-related position, a healthcare position, or one of the other best careers in 2015, it’s clear that most workplace environments are changing — and for the better. According to The Atlantic, an Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll in 2014 indicated that while 71 percent of baby boomers say that a successful career equals a good life, that number jumped to 91 percent for millennials. Most millennials agree that having a good work/life balance, achieving success and recognition in a career, and savoring quality time with friends and family are essentials to having a good life.
These top jobs in demand for 2015 offer a generous mix of prestige and satisfaction while giving you enough time and flexibility to pursue your interests outside of work.